I love flowers. I think I always have. When I was a child, my father had lush, green gardens – vegetable gardens, flower beds, crawling ivy, ferns hanging and growing everywhere, you name it.
We were dirt poor and lived in the middle of Florida with no air conditioning for several years. At night, my parents would open my window to let the breeze in and I remember many nights drifting off to sleep and mornings waking up to the smell of the honeysuckle that grew along a trellis just outside my bedroom window.
He grew roses. Every year, we planted annuals. He showed me how to pinch the head of a snapdragon to make it snap. My father brought flowers alive for me.
I can’t keep a plant alive to save my soul (I inherited the black thumbs from my mother) but I have always loved to look at beautiful flowers.
My father would send my mother a dozen roses on their anniversary every year – no matter how broke we were. Some years, she smiled and hugged him. Some years, even I could see the strain in her eyes as she thought of the cost, knowing we couldn’t really afford them. My father never cared about that. Money was just an object to be used, not something to worry about (wish I’d inherited that from him instead of my mother’s constant fear and worry).
Many of my childhood memories are filled with flowers – cut flowers from the garden, flower bushes, buckets of flowers brought home to plant, packets of seeds when there was only enough money to start from scratch.
Fast forward many years…
My ex-husband only sent me flowers one time. I loved them, but I had the same thought my mother often did. We can’t afford this. He also, mistakenly, thought a dozen roses could make me forget the years of problems, stress, and worry. Silly man.
A few years later, another man sent me flowers…just because.
“Little one, what’s your favorite color?”
“That’s what I thought. I want you to wear that color tomorrow. For me, little one.”
The next day, a purple bouquet of flowers in a purple vase was delivered to my office. I melted right there in the lobby. Everyone thought it was so ironic that I was wearing purple and received purple flowers. I just smiled to myself, knowing a very special man arranged the whole thing.
A few months later, during one of Daddy’s visits, he took my oldest on an errand with him. They went to lunch – a mini-bonding moment. When they walked back in the door, the boy had a devilish smile and Daddy had something behind his back. When I arched my eyebrows at them both, he presented me with a lovely pink, yellow, and white bouquet he’d picked up along the way.
“I’m sorry they’re not purple.”
“Don’t be sorry! They’re beautiful!”
“Mr. John, why did you get my mom flowers?”
“Because she’s beautiful and deserved something beautiful. You don’t always have to have a specific reason.”
I melted again.
Now there’s a little plastic cup on my kitchen counter. A begonia, I think. My oldest gave it to me for Mother’s Day, and I promised myself I would keep it alive until I could get it to Daddy (who, thankfully, has big green thumbs). He’s going to put it in a pot for me, and together, we’ll see if we can keep it alive through the steaming Florida summer.
I feel like maybe I’m coming full circle with flowers, from beginning to end, with men who can help me enjoy flowers.
Welcome to Wicked Wednesday! This week’s prompt was Flowers.